Month: June 2012

Wilson trades for Stuart’s rights: not surprising but kind of odd

KuklasKorner : Petshark: Talking Stick : Wilson trades for Stuart’s rights: not surprising but kind of odd: News that Doug Wilson had traded a conditional 7th round pick and talking rights with Andrew Murray for talking rights with Brad Stuart was met with general approval by Sharks tweeters. To me it seemed odd. When I say “odd” I don’t mean wrong or crazy, just less straightforward than it appears to be. Brad Stuart will be a free agent on July 1, unless he signs a contract with the Sharks before that.  If, as was strongly rumored, Stuart had expressed a specific desire to come back to San Jose, why did Wilson have to trade anything at all to talk to him before July 1?  Why did he have to officially talk to him before then?  Because the market would swallow Stuart up with grand offers?  This is a good deal for both sides. The Sharks get a couple of weeks to work out a deal with Stuart without time pressures. Stuart gets a chance to figure out if that deal can be made, since he clearly wants to avoid free agency if he can. The Sharks give up Andrew Murray, an older July-1 free agent depth player that the organization wasn’t going to re-sign anyway, and if they sign Stuart, a 2014 7th round draft pick. That’s a minimal...

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Ray Bradbury, R.I.P.

Ray Bradbury, R.I.P.: When I was about fifteen, a group of my friends and I went up to Ray Bradbury’s office to interview him for a fanzine. This was the office in a big building at the corner of Wilshire and Beverly in Beverly Hills. Ray famously did not drive a car and he could often be seen walking to and from that office, often in tennis shorts, waving to people and chatting with them on the street. As I would later understand, he was well aware of the power of his celebrity and name, and had consciously decided to apply that power for the greater good. He knew the value of a word from Ray Bradbury and would dispense them generously and with a certain glee on those he encountered, be they longtime friend or passing stranger. He made time to talk to a bunch of us teenagers that day and the interview went way longer than necessary. He kept saying things like, “Your youth…your enthusiasm…you remind me so much of myself at your age.” When he found out that I had set my life’s goal on the mantle of Professional Writer, he took a special interest in me, especially when I made clear that I could conceive of no alternate life and that I saw it as a life, not a job. Before we left, he quietly...

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The inside story of the death of Palm and webOS

Pre to postmortem: the inside story of the death of Palm and webOS | The Verge: Thirty-one. That’s the number of months it took Palm, Inc. to go from the darling of International CES 2009 to a mere shadow of itself, a nearly anonymous division inside the HP machine without a hardware program and without the confidence of its owners. Thirty-one months is just barely longer than a typical American mobile phone contract. Understanding exactly how Palm could drive itself into irrelevance in such a short period of time will forever be a subject of Valley lore. There are parts of the story that are simply lost, viewpoints and perspectives that have been rendered extinct either through entrenched politicking or an employee base that has long since given up hope and dispersed for greener pastures. What we do know, though, is enough to tell a tale of warring factions, questionable decisions, and strategic churn, interspersed by flashes of brilliance and a core team that fought very hard at times to keep the dream alive. The following is an account of Palm’s ascent prior to the launch of the Pre, the subsequent decline, and eventual end, assembled through interviews with a number of current and former employees. Interesting and well-written piece on Palm and webOS by Chris Ziegler at the Verge. I didn’t contribute to it, and while I’d say...

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homebrew vs. jailbreak

In the comments to my previous post, Suzi asked a question that deserved a detailed answer, so I’m turning it into another blog post… so, do you think the webOS way (developer mode) is better choice?  I think that for webOS, it was the right choice, and I spent a lot of time arguing for it and supporting it internally. Is it always the right choice? I’m not sure I can make that blanket statement. With webOS we needed to create an app ecosystem; it wasn’t easy to build a financial case to get developers to write for a new and unproven platform, so we looked for ways to change the dynamics. One thing we did was subsidize development indirectly through the contests (which injected a couple of million dollars into the developer pool) and through bundling app dollars into phones. But we also felt that if we could encourage the hobbyist/individual programmer onto the platform with non-financial reasons and incentives, that would help us grow the platform faster than device sales alone, and that would help us grow the app ecosystem, which would encourage device sales. There’s a chicken and egg problem here, which every new platform needs to find solutions to.  So we felt we could attract developers to the platform by making them welcome, as opposed to Apple’s model, which is one of, well, an indifferent...

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